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Rescue from Gilligan's Island

As the title suggests, our beloved castaways are about to be rescued, for real this time!

The first of three TV movies reunites us with our favourite castaways. 15 years have past since the crew and passengers of the Minnow first washed ashore on an uncharted island, and here we find them still on the island.

Gilligan is still his hopeless goofy self, and still driving the skipper nuts, the Howell's haven't lost their mega-rich airs, the Professor is still as sharp as ever, Mary Ann is still sweet as ever and super cute, and Ginger... well Ginger is still a gorgeous bombshell, except that she sort of doesn't look like Ginger anymore. Sadly Tina Louise chose not to return for the reunion movies and we have actress Judith Baldwin in her place.

Our story begins with a mysterious metal disk from a Russian space satellite falling onto the island. In his usual ingenious fashion the Professor uses it to invent a barometer with which he determines that the island is going to be swamped by a massive tidalwave. He devises a plan to turn their huts into a large boat and ride the waves into the ocean's shipping lanes, and for the first time in 15 years Gilligan doesn't mess it up!
The gang aboard the new S.S. Minnow II watch Gilligan cast off
The gang aboard S.S. Minnow II

We follow our friends as they arrive back in Hawai and then go their separate ways across the USA, back to family and their careers. But times have changed and they have difficulty fitting back in. In the meantime the Russians set out to recover the mysterious and highly valuable metal disk (which Gilligan now wears around his neck as a lucky charm).

Gilligan and the Skipper start work on the Minnow II, but the insurance company won't pay the skipper out for the loss of the original Minnow unless he gets all the passengers to sign a document saying the shipwreck was not his fault. So they both set out to meet up with everyone and get their signatures. With the crazy Russians on their heels, and Gilligan's goofball personality, naturally the usual madcap escapades follow...

It's a pity it took 11 years to start doing these movies, as the cast have all aged noticeably, with the exception of Dawn Wells who still looks incredible. Having said that they all look great still. The most noticeable person to have aged is Natalie Schafer as Mrs Howell who would have been 78 years old while filming!

However once the movie gets going and we have had a moment to adjust to their older appearances it all seems natural (after all the script depicts the events as being 15 years since they were marooned).

The saddest thing for me and many was the absence of Tina Louise as Ginger. Her presence was terribly missed, and although Judith Baldwin did a decent job I just felt there was a hole in the film without Tina Louise.
Judith Baldwin as the new Ginger tries to seduce Gilligan
Ginger tries to seduce Gilligan into giving up a secret

Sadly the quality of the available DVD's are very poor (they have been released by various different companies who seem to be releasing the film under some sort of public domain loophole), and we can only hope for a proper studio release which matches the quality of the TV series set down the road.